04 Jan Living on Mission
Generation LINK is about mobilization and equipping. This is understandable—for the Great
Commission to be fulfilled, Christians must be mobilized into mission. Christians also must
be equipped, given the tools necessary to be able to understand their faith and to think
rightly about the gospel.
But GLINK is unique in that oftentimes equipping happens through mobilization. As we
walk through this season with Jesus in Greer, we as residents have the privilege of being
taught about discipleship and faithfulness through the lives of the people we meet. Here
are three stories about some of our neighbors, and 3 ways that you can pray for us based
on what we’ve learned through each.
We met George* after he walked into our meeting space from off the streets early on
a Sunday morning. George shared about his past life—drugs, crime, poor decisions, broken
families. We ate with him, prayed with him, and did our best to meet the needs that he
presented us with. Every time we helped him out, he thanked us profusely, called us his
family, and said he was so excited about joining us in our work. But after a while, when
we’d helped him get to a place of stability, we had to tell him we wouldn’t be able to give
him any more direct financial aid. We haven’t heard from him since.
This has been tremendously frustrating for us. A lot of time, effort, and resources were
put toward getting to know and to help George. It’s easy for this to feel like a failed waste
of time. But this whole event has been helpful in teaching us an important lesson: working
with sinful, broken people is difficult. And if we’re really honest with ourselves, apart from
the Lord’s grace, more often than not our own walk with Jesus looks more like stumbling
forward and failing in the right direction than tremendous victory. Pray that we would
trust God in our ministries, be patient for the long haul, and be repentant in our own failures.
Anne is another friend of ours. She got connected to us through one of our members, had
many of her questions about the faith answered through spending time with our church
community, and professed faith in Jesus through baptism. Ever since, Anne’s been
dedicated to applying the gospel to the whole of her life, including painful past
experiences that have left her hurt and bitter toward many. But in this painful process,
she’s demonstrated an important truth: sanctification really is dying to yourself and carrying
your cross after Jesus. As Jesus works within her heart, untangling the mess and making her
look like him, Anne has taught us that obeying and applying the gospel is often hard and
difficult, but so worth it.
Pray that we would apply the Scriptures to our own hearts, do violence to our sin, and walk more like Jesus in our town.
We’ve also gotten to serve with our local Soup Kitchen by coming in and eating with our
neighbors. We’ve met plenty of folks here, but one couple stands out. Ted and Tonya have
just arrived in our town. They don’t have much education, but Tonya always sits at
attention during the Bible lessons, brow furrowed as she follows along. Ted and Tonya are
both trying to kick years-long addictions. They’ve been clean for a little over two weeks
now. They talk about how much the Lord has done in their lives to get them to where they
are and their hopefulness is tangible. But the obstacles in front of them are daunting. How
can we care for them well? What does walking alongside them as witnesses to the gospel
look like? In many ways, we don’t know yet. But we do know that these are the ones for
whom Jesus came: those who are really unable to help themselves, to deliver themselves
from their own messes. People a lot like us. Pray that we would see the power of the
gospel work among the needy in our town. Pray that we would be instruments for this work, and that we would be humble in this task.
Through our ministry, the Lord in his wisdom actually instructs us in what walking with
Jesus looks like. As we reach out into dark places, our own dark places are exposed. And as
Jesus invites us to follow after him, we have the joy of seeing the gospel push back
darkness around and within us. We’re thankful for the role that Generation LINK is playing in our town and in our own hearts.